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WASHINGTON — Even when Sylvia Mathews Burwell was in her early 30s, friends speculated that she might return to her native Hinton, W.Va., and run for governor. After all, she had been a Rhodes scholar, and her mother — who later became mayor of Hinton, pop. 2,600 — had driven her daughter’s interest in politics.
So far, that has not happened, but plenty of other things under two presidents have. On Friday, President Barack Obama is to nominate Burwell, currently director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, to take over one of the largest and most unwieldy parts of the federal bureaucracy as secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
If confirmed, Burwell would replace Kathleen Sebelius, who is resigning.